Sir Alfred Jones Memorial Garden is a community garden located at the South Liverpool Treatment Centre. The vision of artist, Gina Czarnecki, working with artist, Sam Meech and Dr Rod Dillon of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, artist Chris Watson, and FACT's community programme tenantspin, the garden is based on the rich history of the Sir Alfred Jones Memorial Hospital, who was also the co-founder of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the first site for the treatment and cure of tropical diseases in the western world.
Tropical Medicine has subsequently developed into the study of contemporary global health concerns from disease to pandemics at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The garden was developed with Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership and Liverpool PCT, as part of the Merseyside LIFT Programme.
There are various elements of this commission that make up the vision devised by Gina Czarnecki.
Garston Pump, Gina Czarnecki with Lab C (Liverpool Arts and Biosciences Collective)
This sculpture is based on the head of a mosquito and referrs to parallel systems in our own bodies and to the circulatory system of plants sits as the centre piece to the garden. The Garston Pump also references the idea of time capsules and the Victorian preoccupation of the collections of anatomical curiosities. The mosquito references links to Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the study of Malaria. The shaft pointing towards the portico (entrance) from the original Sir Alfred Jones Memorial Hospital reinforces the historical influences of this artwork.
The Amber Forest, Chris Watson
Surrounding the sculpture visitors can hear the layered sounds of the The Amber Mountain Forest of Madagascar. Created by award-winning Sound Artist and Recordist Chris Watson, The Amber Forest brings the garden to life with real sounds recorded on location mixed to create an ambience, transporting visitors to a remote tropical rainforest.
Endangered Trades, Gina Czarnecki and the Community Film Screening Space
At the rear end of the garden is circular seating area designed to create a communal area for people to relax and enjoy the space. Above the seating is a lightbox artwork created by Gina Czarnecki, Endangered Trades. The artwork was created by the artist working with local traders, taking photographs of their hands. They are all skilled professionals based in South Liverpool with generations of accumulated knowledge and their daily work is reflected in their hands. The work asks the question, are we losing this sense of community, and the skills and knowledge with the rapid growth of large supermarkets?
A screen was built into the seating where visitors can relax and watch films made by artists and the local community of South Liverpool. Three films commissioned by FACT that can be seen here and on a screen in the atrium are; Rotters by Gina Czarnecki and Sam Meech working with Rotters Community Composting, Garston Life by John Turton and Alex Harrison working with the Garston Historical Society, and A Day in the Market by Alex Harrison and John Turton.
Liverpool Botanical Collection
The planting in the garden uses sub-tropical species from Liverpool's Botanical Collection, one of the largest plant collections in municipal ownership. Liverpool City Council has kindly donated some of the plants. It is one of the oldest plant collections in the country, dating back over two hundred years. Liverpool City Council manages the collection and since the closure of the last Botanical Garden over 25 years ago only a limited number of plants have been on public display at Croxteth Park and Sefton Park Palm House. Representatives from the indoor collections can be seen inside the atrium of the Health Centre within the large planters.
These artworks have been commissioned by FACT and Liverpool City Council in partnership with Liverpool and Sefton Health Partnership and Liverpool PCT.
Gina Czarnecki is supported by the Wellcome Trust.